Instruction to tourists

1. Which is the best currency to take to Russia?

All prices in Russia are given in roubles, and it is prohibited by law for any outfit to accept any other currency except the national one. It would be worth exchanging your cash into roubles upon your arrival in Russia. British pounds are very hard to exchange - only in Moscow, St Petersburg and some other host cities - and the rate may not be good, so it is better to bring USD or Euro. It’s also not recommended to bring traveller’s cheques to Russia. Try not to run out of cash, although major credit and debit cards are accepted in Russia.

2. Where is the best place to exchange money?

Changing money is rarely a problem in Russia. Almost every place, even a smallest town, has a bank or a currency exchange office. This is not always the case in the tiniest remote Siberian or mountain villages, but, generally, if the town has more than 1000 inhabitants, a legal money exchange will not cause a problem.

3. What is the weather like in Russia?

The best time to visit Russia is May through September. Temperatures range from the 21C-32C in the day to the 10C-21C at night. Be aware that the spring and fall are unpredictable with flurries showing up in May and September, and mud ensuing. Take along with you waterproof shoes and a jacket.

4. Which means of transport is better to use in Moscow, in St Petersburg?

The Moscow and St Petersburg Metro is a great alternative to using local taxi services. You'll travel fast, cheap and easy, skip most of the traffic, and save lots of time. This means of transport may not be very comfortable, but nothing beats it as the traffic gets worse by the year. Also, taxis cost a lot these days.

5. Who should I ask if I get lost in Russia? Do people speak English?

If you haven't learned to speak Russian yet and find yourself in a difficult situation, you can ask hotel receptionists, guides, translators or any English-speaking people to help you get around and find your way back to the hotel or train station.

In Russia’s big cities, you can buy a map or travel-guide in English with sightseeings. Russian transcription is found in most subways. If you get lost, you can turn to any policeman or passer-by for help. More and more people speak English in Russia with each passing year.

6. Are tourist places closed during public holidays in Russia?

There are a total of nine official holidays in Russia. All countries have their own set of holidays, but what’s different about Russia is that holidays last longer.

Another unique feature of Russia’s holidays is that all markets and public places remain open, and people are seen thronging the streets. The entertainment centres and recreational activities can be enjoyed till late evening, making it a fun-filled holiday for Russians.

7. Do I need to carry my original passport with me at any time during my vacation trip to Russia?

Police have the authority to stop people and request their documents at any time without cause. Due to the possibility of random document checks by police, foreign citizens should carry their original passports, registered migration cards, and visas with them at all times. Failure to provide proper documentation can result in detention and/or heavy fines. It is not necessary for travellers to have either entry or itinerary points in the Russian Federation printed on their visas.